DAWN NEWSPAPER |
PAKISTAN HISTORY TERM REPORT
20th February, 2014 |
Anoosha HaroonSaneeza AsrarShafaq ShafqatNazia KhanSyeda Aminah Asim12/18/2014
Headline “PLEA TO BOOK MUSHARRAF IN DRONE CASE REJECTED”
Drone attacks in Pakistan started off in 2004-2005 under the presidency of General Pervez Musharraf and targets the northern areas especially North-Waziristan. These U.S drone attacks have been condemned by all political parties and they have protested to show their agitation. The reason behind these drone attacks is to get rid or terrorists and Talibans but it is not the most efficient and precise way as U.S claims it to be. Because many ...view middle of the document...
The VBMP claims that government and intelligence agencies are responsible for abducting and killing thousands of Baloch people. They claim there are 18000 ‘missing people’ and about 1000 have been extra judicially killed. Abdul Qadeer’s own son was abducted and killed allegedly by secret state agencies.
The VBMP started a long march with about 20 people in October 2013 to highlight this issue. The long march participants included women and children who were the family members of the victims.
The march started from Balochistan and went through Sindh and Punjab. According to the article, the VBMP were not well received in Punjab. They received threats along the way and were even attacked several times by people. It is alleged that the police did not provide them adequate protection and may have even intentionally let the attacks happen.
The marchers also claim that they received death threats and decomposed remains of their missing family members to discourage them from their march. However, the protestors remained steadfast.
The VBMP took their case to the government hoping they would help. But the government made empty promises and provided no concrete aid.
Then the protestors met with UN and EU representatives in Islamabad, who expressed shock at the awful situation in Balochistan and promised they would help. However, no action has been taken by these international authorities.
It is important to note that these protestors are neither political nor do they have any political agenda. They are just family members of the victims who want justice for their loved ones. Since 2005, human rights organizations have recorded serious human rights violations in Balochistan by security forces, including extrajudicial executions, torture, forced disappearances, forced displacement, and excessive use of force.
The media did not provide much coverage to this long march, unlike the coverage provided to movements like Lawyers Long March or political parties’ long marches. I feel it is probably due to the Baloch nature of this long march that the media did not give much attention to it. Also, the government and intelligence agencies (who are probably responsible for the missing persons) want to suppress these protests and hide this issue as much as possible.
Pakistan has a history of not giving Baloch people their due rights. Balochistan’s relationship with the federation has largely been turbulent due to the issues of lack of provincial autonomy, control over the province’s resources, and the economic and political repression by the successive central governments.
I chose this article because it shows that Baloch views and sentiments are indeed largely ignored by the rest of Pakistan. I learned in class that Baloch people are ignored by the central government due to their low population and this article validated that.
While the VBMP’s struggle and intention is praiseworthy, I think that it will not lead to any solution or justice for the missing...